Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar

misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)September 13, 2012

I went up front to the main road 'meadow' to see if there were any more buckeye cats on the agalinis. I had just started looking and found this "big buckeye"! :)

The cat hasn't moved off the agalinis, so I'm thinking it's probably ready to make its cocoon. I brought the cat in to a cage and put a piece of fresh agalinis in with it in case it's still eating. I've never found a salt marsh moth caterpillar on the same host plant twice, they're real generalists. It kept its head down at all times, so I couldn't see its head to see if it has the diagnostic yellow line, but I'm pretty sure this is a salt marsh moth cat.

I think they're very attractive, and the adults are beauties!


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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

I rarely see these anymore. When I was a kid in Toledo, I found them on milkweed very often.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 12:20PM
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bob_71(z7 MD)

Excellent photo, Miss Sherry.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 6:39PM
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I think these caterpillars (commonly called Wooly Bears) wander extensively before settling in for the winter, and their palates are not very selective because they eat a large variety of plants.

I have fond memories of these caterpillars, too. I have never found one in OKC, but found a lot of them in SE Kansas where I grew up.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 8:21PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Well, to my surprise, the cat ate some of the agalinis, so I added more to the cage. I don't know when it will cocoon, probably soon.
I hope these moths aren't getting scarce!


    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:38PM
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